Job searching in 2021 looks very different than it did just a few years ago.
Job searching in 2021 looks very different than it did just a few years ago. The pandemic digitised processes overnight. And that has meant businesses have had to revise and improve their candidate hiring experience, to make it fit for a hybrid hiring environment. In-person interviews were replaced by video calls, paper CV’s and applications were made redundant, and more applications were made through job websites and automated hiring platforms than ever.
Thankfully, the digitisation of the hiring process has, broadly, been an advantage for job-seekers.
Our recent research, which looks into the recruiting landscape in 2021, found that two-thirds of UK job-seeking adults (64%) believe video interviews have had a positive impact on the interview and hiring experience and two fifths (41%) think that companies who use automation in the recruitment process are making getting a job easier. Nearly half (48%) say video interviews and applications make them feel more confident and that they can present a better version of themselves.
It’s clear recruitment can’t go back to the analogue era. Not now that applicants are used to practices that help them feel more confident, prepared and save them time.
But it also can’t be fully digital either.
Navigating the hybrid hiring era
While our research revealed that many job-seekers can see the benefits of technology and automation, with half (49%) saying they experience a quicker application process, 43% noticing a quicker response time, and a third (35%) saying they value the more regular updates on the progress of their application. Recruitment teams can’t leave everything up to technology.
In fact, while a third (32%) of candidates prefer to search for jobs online, without human interaction, 50% of job seekers still prefer human interaction when looking for a job, rather than doing it all online.
Many of those said the process felt dehumanised (45%). The main barrier for this group was that automation bases its criteria on past facts, not future potential (49%).
What’s more, the applicants who favoured contact with people, whether recruiters or hiring teams in-house, preferred face-to-face interviews (71%), on the phone (68%) or on a video (65%) in the job hunting processes.
Job seekers still depend on human interaction to determine a lot about a company. For example, a company’s culture can give them a better sense of how comfortable they’d feel in that environment – something that can only fully be experienced in person. In-house recruiters and hiring teams benefit from these connections too, picking up on nuances like a candidate’s potential, presence and ambition.
Getting the balance right
Finding the balance isn't an easy task. So while candidates are clearly now more comfortable with, and can see the benefits of, more technology in the hiring process. Human contact and involvement still needs to be present at the appropriate time. Because the human touch – and human contact – is still an essential part of creating a great candidate experience.
To make hiring effective, businesses need to have a clear idea of why and where they are using automation - as how candidates view the application process, will be reflected in how they think about the company and future opportunities.
Balancing the two to tailor every application process to its specific needs is a great first step. For example, data gathered by robotic mobile optimisation, integrated assessments and automated processing, should be put into action by a physical human hiring team to identify areas of inefficiency. It’s also important to openly ask candidates what makes their experience more efficient and match those solutions with a balance of automation and human touch.
As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, hiring is on the increase. And recruitment teams need to be ready for the hybrid hiring environment; that means ensuring you have the right mix of tech and human input, so that you can create a candidate hiring experience that’s easy to use and hire the best people out there.